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The irksome cogitation gave rise to the query; was this a crazy connection to have made? I seriously did not know. It seemed ridiculous that anyone’s mind could or would knit together reality television with the historical exhibition of the planet’s most perfected athletes. No doubt the pillars holding up the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, Greece shook upon the pondering.

As any intelligent, educated person would do, I turned to Facebook for the answer. I decided to ask my 500 closest friends the exact same question: “Will you be watching the Olympics this year? Why or why not?” The answers came from geographic points located across this land “of the brave and free”; from doctors, lawyers, paralegals, working moms, scientists, prominent artists, ordinary folk and one world famous athlete. The answers were as diverse as the games themselves.

In attempting to scientifically quantify the responses for publication (hopefully your tongue is somewhere in the vicinity of your cheek); it was discovered that the answers, although original, fell into categories.

The first category and the most obvious were responses from athletes. These were individuals who had excelled in sports in some way, shape or fashion at some point in their lives. Their sentiments were the most poignant and profound of all. One wrote;

“I watch to be inspired. I love human excellence, achievement, grace, power and beauty, in all of its forms. I love seeing people at the very “top of their game”. I love seeing people strive for something that once seemed impossible, and took years to manifest. I also watch to see good sportsmanship, grace under pressure, and how they handle the death of their dream,
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if that happens.”

The next classification of participant was that of social commentator. These were people markedly in the grip of near deadly, non negotiable opinions. A taste of those frothing;

“I love the Olympics. Watch whenever they come on. But Not This Winter Olympics. Boycotting due to the ABUSE of the Dogs and Animals that do not have homes. NO WINTER Olympics in SOCHI. BOYCOTT!!!!!!!”

“AND don’t forget they captured Orca whales!! Ugg, evil!!!”

Next were the historians. These were the individuals gifted with a comprehensive point of view. The winter wool was not going to be pulled over their eyes;

“I just think the original intent of Olympicism is lost. Originally was to promote a peaceful society concerned with preservation of human dignity. I don’t see that happening and especially not this year’s. Just my opinion.”

Then there were the frustrated. The general consensus from this grouping was that the Olympic Games have become too commercialized, too politicized, and too segmented. These answers also expressed bafflement with why the media giants felt it necessary to prostitute the events in order to get their slice of the Olympic pie;

“I intensely dislike the jingoistic slant to the coverage.”

“I used to enjoy watching the Olympics and learning more about the various sports, particularly ones that I’ve not been exposed to (snow? What is that??). That being said, I don’t enjoy it much anymore because of the overabundance of commercials and “news”. I don’t need that. Really. I can get almost the same amount of joy by waiting a few hours/days, and watching clips on the internet.”

Finally, there were the comedians;
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as well there should have been. After all, how well rounded can a discussion be without a dosing of sarcastic mockery?

“Haven’t been able to watch since Blades of Glory.”

In retrospect, I still do not know whether or not I will watch the Olympic Games. I agree with a lot of what I was told, especially with regards to the involvement of politics and the commercialization of the Olympic Trials. And there are some very obscure sports on the roster, though thankfully we’ve yet to see anyone playing with pickleball paddles.

However, I will admit that although I won’t be caught dead watching the Kardashians; I may have had more pleasure and excitement reading the spirited musings of a fabulous cross section of the citizens of the United States of America. Now that, my friend, is reality.